UBS said today that it will write off a staggering $14 billion in losses as a result of the ongoing mortgage crisis, causing the bank to post a hefty net loss for 2007.
The write-offs will drive a fourth-quarter loss of $11.4 billion and a full year net loss of about $4 billion, the bank said in a preliminary earnings release.
In December, the Zurich-based bank estimated write-downs at around $10 billion, leading analysts to expect a loss of nearly half of what UBS reported today.
The news put off most analysts, some of whom now say they don’t know what to expect from the Swiss bank.
The figures “include around $12 billion in losses on positions related to the U.S. subprime mortgage market and approximately $2 billion on other positions related to the U.S. residential mortgage market,” the bank said.
UBS will have written off roughly $18.4 billion when it announces its complete fourth quarter and full-year results on February 14, including the $4.4 billion loss on subprime investments registered in the third quarter.
Shares of UBS were off $1.05, or 2.44%, to $42.00 in midday trading on Wall Street.